When children’s author Steven Kellogg stood before a full room at the on Thursday morning, the students were immediately struck by his energy.
Kellogg, a Norwalk native who has written more than 90 children’s books, flew around the room, acting out his stories and drawing sketches as he told them on a special drawing pad. It was something that left the students excited and ready to take on the challenge of writing stories of their own.
“It was fun and it made me want to write one,” said first-grade student Katrina Heath. “He draws really fast. It was really good. I want to be like that some day.”
The visit from Kellogg was part of a special program designed to encourage writing and creativity among the students at the St. Dominic School on Flanders Road. Noreen Adams, librarian and literacy director at the school, said one of the goals was to use the 70-year old authors energy to inspire the kids to read and write more.
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When revamping the schools library earlier this year, Adams helped select a variety of books that included several by Kellogg. She wanted to do more, however, and when Principal Patricia Tiezzi asked her if she could choose any author to visit, she knew right away that it had to be Kellogg.
“He’s just so talented, and he knows how to engage the students. He gets them active and you can believe that many will go home today and tell there parents, ‘I want to write my own book’,” Adams said.
Tiezzi said programs like this are an important way to supplement everyday classroom learning. It gives them a different take, she said, and gives them a chance to realize they can do anything if they put their minds to it.
The program not only walked the students through the process, but also provided them with a life lesson in what it takes to make a book. Using his story, My Best Friend, as an example on what it takes to succeed.
“Making a book is like making a friend,” Kellogg told the students. “You just can’t tell how long it will take. It is a special process that takes a lot of work and in the end, just like a friend, the book will become a part of you for life.”
Natalie Hubert, a fifth-grade teacher, said Thursday’s program was great to see – almost 20 years after the first-time she was able to see Kellogg while training to be a teacher.
Hubert said she used to read Kellogg’s story ‘Is Your Mama a Llama’ all the time to her children Madison, a fourth-grader, and Abby, a first-grader, so it was great to give them a chance to meet the man who created the family favorite.
“We prepared for the visit and it’s been a process, so today, they got to see it all come to life,” Hubert said. “In the end, this is something that really inspires the kids and inspires education. That’s what it’s all about.”
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